The day we have been anxiously awaiting arrived full of sunshine and promise. Birds sang at the windows like those in the Disney films of my childhood as I dressed for our trip to have Sweet G’s casts removed. My sweet husband took the day off in order to accompany us to the doctor’s appointment in Atlanta.
We packed up the van and started out our adventurous day that we had so perfectly planned. Stop at the bank, go to the doctor, head to the farmer’s market for a fun day of shopping, and then return home. It never ceases to amaze me how the best laid plans can so quickly fly out the window but I am learning to take each day for what it is and not what it could have been.
Our stop at the bank was the first small glitch of the day. J pulled in, parked, and walked up to the door to discover it locked. No big deal-we were there 15 minutes before they opened. The drive-thru window quickly solved the first glitch for the day.
The drive down to Atlanta went well and we arrived nearly 30 minutes before our appointment. We began questioning which building we needed to go to as we took our exit but quickly agreed on the one we needed and headed for the parking deck. First, J passed the entrance to the parking deck and we had to turn around at the patient drop off. After pulling into the parking deck J asked me where the handicapped parking was. I had been engrossed in my iPad and hadn’t been paying full attention until that point. When I looked up I said, “you have to pull around and go out the other side of the parking deck to get to the handicapped parking for this building.” When he attempted to do that we realized that we were at the wrong building. We pulled out of the lot after explaining our mistake to the attendant and drove across the street to the second building. We immediately recognized the garage and quickly parked and unloaded G’s enormous adult wheelchair and loaded the boy with the full leg casts separated by a 26″ bar into the chair putting his walker on the back in case the doctor wanted to see him walk. Into the building we head armed with my humongous camera bag.
When trying to decide which floor we needed I discovered that G’s doctor wasn’t listed on the directory and there wasn’t a pediatric orthopedic group. Houston we have a problem. We were at the correct building earlier and left it because we were sure it was the wrong place only this time we had unloaded all our junk and our Sweet G before making the discovery. We are no longer 30 minutes early but have five minutes to load everything and backtrack to the office we went to in the beginning.
Those of you without a special needs child may think anyone who can’t remember where their child’s doctor’s office is located is an incompetent idiot. Let me explain. We have been to three different specialists in the same two block area in the past three months. This was only our second time going to this particular office even though G has seen this doctor for years at the Spacticity Clinic. We were just at another new specialists office last week and his neurologist’s office a couple of months ago. All the trips start to blend together after seven years of appointments because if you’ve seen one office you’ve seen them all. We did finally make it to the right office and were only a few minutes late.
Being the perfect mommy that I am I had been preparing G for the cast removal. He hates loud noises and usually freaks out over something new and scary. The technician came in and gave G a quick explanation and started to cut. I was overjoyed when our Sweet G started laughing uncontrollably. It was the sweetest thing I’ve seen in a long time. Now right before this the doctor had come in and said that G would probably freak when the casts come off because they had been confined for so long. He tried to prepare us but there was no way I could have prepared for what came next.
G’s sweet giggles quickly turned to a look of horror as the casts were pulled away from his legs. He didn’t cry or scream out but had the most terrified look on his sweet face. It took some time and several doctors to get him to relax and keep his legs straight and still. A “sucker shot” as the doctor called it worked wonders temporarily until we could get out of the building. Having brought no meds for itching, leg spasms, or pain meant not only canceling our plan to visit the farmer’s market but also meant a long stressful ride home. We had no idea what trauma came along with taking off those casts.
We are now safe at home, had a great bath in which G was able to sit up independently in for the very first time, took our meds, had several massages with lotion, put leg immobilizers back on and cuddled for the first time in six weeks. There have been no attempts to stand and most likely won’t be for a week or so. But the casts are gone and we have two new and improved legs waiting to show us all their new tricks.